CLA Canvas Transition FAQ

In June 2017, Provost Karen Hanson and Vice President and CIO Bernard Gulachek announced that the University of Minnesota will adopt Canvas and phase out Moodle, which has been in place since 2007.


The transition to Canvas will take place in phases over two years, with the first wave of CLA Canvas courses in place for Spring 2018 (CLA courses in the Canvas pilot project may continue in Canvas). In Fall 2019, all course sites at the University of Minnesota will be created in Canvas.


LATIS will coordinate a transition process for the college, in collaboration with CLA’s Undergraduate Education (UGE), academic departments, and the University’s Office of Information Technology (OIT). LATIS staff have already begun planning for the transition and will contact departments to assess needs in detail. Canvas transition planning includes not only converting existing course sites and creating new ones, but working with faculty, staff, and students to ensure a smooth transition and to make sure everyone is prepared.


Questions? LATIS’s Technology Enhanced Learning team, cla-tel@umn.edu.


Thank you in advance for your understanding as we work to make this transactions as smooth as possible.


Is Canvas that different from Moodle? 

The systems are roughly comparable with regard to main features, with each system offering some features missing in the other or handling some tasks better than the other. According to the UMN Canvas Pilot Report, available through the Canvas Pilot Project page, both instructors and students described the interface as “clean,” and “modern.” Instructors and students surveyed said that Canvas was easy to learn.

When can I start teaching with Canvas?

The first CLA course sites will transition to Canvas in Spring 2018. Canvas will not be fully functional for Fall 2017 course delivery. Continue to teach using Moodle for Fall 2017.

How long is the process?

LATIS staff will work with departments to create a transition schedule that will complete the process during the next two years. All course sites will be in Canvas in Fall 2019.

What will happen to my Moodle sites?

The University retains Moodle course content after the end of the course. Moodle course sites created now and through the end of the transition (Summer 2019) will be accessible to instructors and designers until Fall 2023.

What is the transition process?

LATIS staff will consult with departments to develop a schedule. We will make recommendations based on the complexity of existing Moodle course sites, the timing of developing new course sites, and the level of support required.

Who will help?

LATIS staff have already been working the past two semesters with CLA faculty in the Canvas Pilot Program, and have developed a working knowledge of the system. Beginning Fall 2017, LATIS will actively reach out to departments and instructors to assist them in transitioning, creating, and teaching courses in Canvas. We are coordinating our efforts with the Office of Information Technology (OIT) so there will be plenty of help during the transition. Self-help materials will also be available.

How can I learn more about Canvas?

OIT’s Canvas Transition Information site includes guides, example sites, and events. You can request a sandbox site to explore Canvas features and functionality.